For enabling easy interface between employees and HR, Aircel created enough wiggle room to modify, change processes & made systems more responsive
Aircel entered the market at a time when technology was at the cusp of becoming an enabler for various business functions. Earlier, it was considered as a big leap to use “intelligent systems” to set up HR operations. Being a new entrant in a competitive market, setting up pan-India operations was challenging and it was almost as if there was a staffing and setup barrage. The adoption of technology helped Aircel to stand out among the already established competitors.
Aircel began its expansion strategy at one go, rather than moving slowly from one city to anot-her. Aircel’s initial investment in HR technology was mainly due to logistical reasons. Unlike older operators in the given domain where HR policies, processes and best practices evolved over time, Aircel started with the basics in place from Day One.
Business drivers for Employee-HR integration
For enabling an easy interface between employees and HR, Aircel created enough wiggle room to modify, change processes and made systems respond better to employee feedback. Dealing with a geographically dispersed audience, there was a constant need to communicate changes in HR operations, along with training and encouraging employees to adopt new processes. For example, a change in the leave portal and exit portal last year was preceded with a number of information mailers to all employees and followed up with many FAQ sessions and help documents.
Another hurdle faced was regarding the integration of disparate systems that developed over time. As all developments took place in-house, changes in platforms and in data collection and compilation methods were prominent. This made integration of processes tough and led to the creation of a few standalone processes.
RoI of HR Technology
Aircel first outlined sections under which technology was to be adopted. The complete process was divided into three parts:
• Establishing data management system where HR could compile data in a simple yet holistic framework
• Lifecycle management through which an easy interface between employees and HR was to be established
• Making analytics simple by enabling quick HR related queries and timely responses to them
The in-house employee intranet portal is in a state of constant change and flux to serve employees better. Remote SMS attendance, company announcement through SMS, training confirmation through missed calls, birthday wishes to employees through automated messages are few of the innovative ways Aircel has tried to link its core business to changing HR operative ethos. The focus has remained “be personal, be prompt.” Suggestions are encouraged and processes are accordingly modified.
Aircel has developed a unique way of arriving at RoI. Firstly, it traces its HR ratio. Today, the HR to employee ratio has decreased by half the number since the adoption of the new technology. Secondly, Aircel keeps a strict overview on the speed by which queries get answered. Specific Turnaround Time (TAT) was decided and for those that took longer, designated TAT was highlighted with a red flag.
Lastly, monitoring the engagement level of employees with the technology in place is always given a lot of importance. Employee dipsticks, hits per day on the intranet portal as well as peak usage times are tracked. It is now time for predictive analysis. The integration of HR metrics with business metrics and usage of the large data available within the purview of HR to understand employees more intimately is probably Aircel’s next goal post.
As told by Yuvraj Shrivastava, Head - Employee Services, Aircel